FAQs Related to JPS Employees & COVID-19 Before January 2021
What if I have symptoms of COVID-19?
Employees should not report to work if they have COVID-19 symptoms (such as a fever of 100.4 F or greater along with cough or shortness of breath). They should report their absence in accordance with their school/unit call-in procedure, even if they are working remotely. Absences due to illness or injury of an employee or member of the employee's immediate family related to COVID-19 should be treated as sick leave. Use of Emergency Paid Sick Leave may also be a possibility. Complete the linked FFCRA Request for a Leave of Absence be submitted to HR for review and approval. Please contact your supervisor for more information. Full-time employees in this situation qualify for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave up to $511 per day or $5,110 total. After that time has been exhausted or after December 31, 2020, employees must utilize personal sick leave/FMLA.
What if I am sick but unable to get a doctor's appointment or note?
JPS is waiving the requirement to provide a doctor's note for short-term COVID-19 related illnesses during this time. Medical documentation may be required when requesting longer-term sick leave (more than two weeks duration), Emergency Paid Sick Leave, or other types of FMLA. Full-time employees in this situation qualify for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave up to $511 per day or $5,110 total. After that time has been exhausted, employees must utilize personal sick leave/FMLA.
What if I need to take care of a family member who has COVID-19 symptoms?
If you have sudden caring responsibilities for a family member, you should report your absence in accordance with your school/unit call-in procedure. Absences due to illness or injury of an employee or member of the employee's immediate family related to COVID-19 should be treated as sick leave. Use of Emergency Paid Sick Leave may also be a possibility; Complete the linked FFCRA Request for a Leave of Absence be submitted to HR for review and approval. Please contact your supervisor for more information. Remote or alternate work possibilities may also be discussed with your supervisor. Employees in this situation qualify for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at 2/3 of their salary up to $200 per day or $2,000.00 total.
Can I continue to work remotely?
Jackson Public Schools intends to resume normal business operations in August; therefore, most remote working arrangements will end at that time. If an employee has specific issues or concerns and believes remote work might be a feasible solution, they must discuss this with their supervisor. The employee should submit the COVID-19 Reasonable Accommodation Request Form through the Office of Human Resources. The employee's request to work remotely will be reviewed by HR and the employee will be advised of their status.
Why must teachers work at school?
At school, our educators and support staff will have reliable access to technology, including strong bandwidth and technology as well as in-district support for those who are new to virtual instruction. Additionally, since no students will be at the schools, it will be easier for staff to social distance in buildings.
What if my child's daycare or school closes and I have to stay at home?
If an employee is unable to work due to caring responsibilities, they should report their absence in accordance with their school/unit call-in procedure. As long as the employee has made remote working arrangements with their supervisor (and that arrangement has been approved and can be maintained), they will not be charged personal leave. The employee may also be eligible for Expanded FMLA Leave or Emergency Paid Sick Leave; Complete the linked FFCRA Request for a Leave of Absence be submitted to HR for review and approval. Employees should contact their supervisor for more information. Documentation from the employee's childcare provider must be submitted to indicate the closure and anticipated date to reopen. This situation provides up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave and expanded FML at 2/3 of their daily rate up to $200 per day or $12,000.
What if I need to self-isolate?
The answer is condition-specific. For instance, if an employee has been exposed to COVID-19 and has been ordered to self-isolate, these absences will be treated as sick leave. Use of Emergency Paid Sick Leave may also be a possibility. Employees should contact their supervisor to discuss further. Employees in this situation qualify for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, up to $511 per day, or $5,110 total. After that time, they must utilize personal sick leave/FMLA.
If an employee is requesting remote work due to an underlying medical condition or that of a family member, they should complete the COVID-19 Reasonable Accommodation Request Form. Otherwise, these absences will be treated as personal leave unless the employee has made remote working arrangements with their supervisor and the OHR. Employees must provide documentation from their physician, and they qualify for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave up to $511 per day and $5,110 total. The COVID-19 Medical Form should be completed by their physician and uploaded with the Reasonable Accommodation Request.
What if I or a family member am at high risk for the virus?
We encourage employees to discuss their situation with their supervisor so that they are aware, and they can support the employee as appropriate and as the situation develops. HR will ask supervisors to work with the individual employee to determine how they can be best protected. We will address this compassionately on a case-by-case basis, considering individual circumstances, current guidance from healthcare officials, and job responsibilities. Full-time employees must provide documentation from their physician and they qualify for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave up to $511 per day and $5,110 total.
Do I need to complete FMLA paperwork?
We are not requiring FMLA documentation specifically for short-term COVID-19 symptoms. However, if the absence involves hospitalization, more than a 2-week absence, or involves a school/childcare closure, FMLA paperwork should be requested. For other medical conditions unrelated to COVID-19 (such as surgery or pregnancy), our usual FMLA policy will remain in effect.
Can I receive or donate leave for a positive COVID-19 test?
Per our donating leave policy, the leave must meet the definition of "catastrophic" to qualify. The Office of the General Counsel will respond to requests on a case by case basis.
Can I continue to take paid administrative leave?
According to the Governor's Executive Order No. 1495 issued on June 10, 2020, paid administrative leave is no longer available to state employees, effective July 1, 2020. I don't think it's fair that some people get to work from home or are placed on administrative leave while others have to come to work. We are seeking to address individual needs consistently during this evolving situation. Some roles simply cannot be performed from home and as long as the District remains open those roles must continue to be performed. Employees are encouraged to speak to their supervisor or contact Human Resources for further guidance.
Have any changes been made to the payroll cycle?
No. At this time we are operating on our usual payroll cycles.
Are there any special reporting requirements for exempt employees on leave who complete monthly time and attendance reports?
No. Monthly time and attendance reports should be completed by employees and approved by supervisors each month, as usual. Special leave codes will be used to indicate leave related to COVID.
Can exempt employees complete monthly time and attendance reports remotely?
Documentation of time for exempt employees who have been approved to work remotely or who are assigned remote (virtual) classes will be submitted to the respective work locations.
Are employees (exempt or non-exempt) required to complete timesheets?
Timesheets should be completed as usual with the appropriate leave code for a COVID-related absence.
What if I do not have remote access to complete my timesheet?
Employees should contact their supervisors to arrange to submit timesheets. Supervisors will need to report the hours worked including any vacation or sick time.
Who should I contact for payroll questions or concerns?
Please email Margaret Purnell with any questions related to payroll.
What should we do if our school/unit is exposed to COVID-19?
Consult the COVID Exposure Notification guidance and FAQ documents, and discuss with your OHR Partner.
Can I approve of working remotely?
No, employees must formally apply to work remotely. We will use a committee process to review all requests.
What if I/we believe that someone is abusing this situation?
We very much hope that this isn't the case but if you do have concerns please contact your immediate supervisor.
What do I do if someone is being harassed for their national origin due to COVID-19?
Jackson Public Schools does not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment. Such reports or concerns should be instances addressed immediately by following district policy (Policy GAEE).